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Augusta Health puts temporary visitor restrictions in place

(© Fabian –

Augusta Health said Thursday it is implementing a restricted visitation policy, citing recent rising community COVID-19 infections.

According to the Virginia Department of Health, the Waynesboro-Staunton-Augusta County area has had a reported 162 new COVID-19 positive test results over the past week, a rate of 18.8 new positives per 100,000 residents per day.

More than a third of the local positive test results reported in the past seven days – 58 in total – date to Nov. 7.

That Nov. 7 date was also the high-water mark for new positive tests statewide – 2,103.

Statewide, VDH is reporting 18.2 COVID-19 positives per 100,000 residents statewide over the past week.

The Augusta Health restricted visitation policy will only allow visitors under the following conditions:

  • Pediatric Patients: All patients under the age of 18 are allowed one parent/guardian for the duration of their visit.
  • Labor & Delivery: One support person will be allowed for the duration of the patient’s stay. Once they have been admitted to the unit they need to remain there with the patient and should arrive with all necessities for the duration of their stay. If the support person leaves the premises, they will not be granted reentry.
  • End of Life: Patients admitted for end of life evaluation or hospice care are allowed one visitor at a time. End of life is defined as anticipated death with a do not resuscitate order and/or planned withdrawal of life-sustaining interventions. If families are in the process of end of life decision making, up to two support persons will be allowed on the day of the meeting with providers.
  • Adults with Cognitive, Behavioral, or Special Needs: One visitor for the duration of the patient’s visit, for the patient’s safety and well-being.
  • Adults with High Illness Acuity or High Emotional Need: At the discretion of the front-line care team, one visitor per day for cases where the patient’s severity of illness or emotional needs are such that loved ones are needed as part of the care team.
  • Day of Hospital Discharge: One visitor in the final hours of the patient’s hospital stay to facilitate informed and safe hospital discharge.
  • Emergency Department: One support person for the duration of the visit when needed to safely provide care, including those patients with cognitive, behavioral, special needs, or high emotional need. A second support person will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Augusta Medical Group/Urgent Care/Outpatient Visit: One support person, essential caregiver for the duration of the office visit when needed to safely provide care.

All visitors will:

  • Be screened at hospital or practice entrance and not have symptoms of COVID-19 or influenza infection.
  • Have their temperature checked (<100◦F) and perform hand hygiene at entry.
  • Wear a mask during the duration of their visit.
  • Practice social distancing during their visit.
  • Perform hand hygiene when entering or leaving a patient’s room.
  • Be at least 16 years of age.
  • Restrict their movements in the hospital to the patient’s room, restrooms, and entrance/exit paths. The cafeteria will not be open to visitors during Restricted Visitation.
  • All support persons and visitors should wait in their vehicles during patient procedures, and will be contacted for patient pick-up at time of discharge.

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